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Posted June 23, 2005
Cannons Looking
By Paul Noonan
      To begin their march to the finals last season, the Cannons opened with a team record 4-0 start. This season, the Cannons are on pace to be back in that championship game as they have opened up the 2005 season undefeated at the one- thirds mark. The difference this season, though, is that the Cannons have looked far more dominant with no really close games as of yet. The new roster appears to have gelled right off the bat, and if they continue to improve, any team who stands in front of the Cannons might be blown away.

      The story of the off- season, both for the Cannons and Major League Lacrosse, was the trade that brought Mark Millon to Boston. Through week 4 of the MLL season, Millon leads the league in scoring with 17 points and is also tied for the league lead in goals with eleven. So far, Millon has clearly lived up to the hype he brought with him. Though his production is obviously very good, it was expected, but somewhat unexpected has been the offensive production of Kevin Leveille. With a record setting performance this weekend (7G, 1A Cannons records for goals and points in a game), Leveille quickly raced up the scoring charts. His strong start has him tied for the league lead in goals as well as tied for fifth in points with 14. Leveille also has a league leading three hat tricks. Meanwhile, Conor Gill is still in an MVP caliber form with 15 points in the first four games, good enough for third place in the league, and right on the tail of Millon's seventeen. Gill is also atop the assists board again with 12, four ahead of his closest follower.

     The Cannons offense is arguably the best in the league, but a big reason for their success this year, and the key to their championship hopes, is their much improved defense. The Cannons didn't add any big names this winter, but instead the returning players have just stepped up their games. Led by captain, and arguably the league's best defender, Ryan Curtis, the Cannons have been equally as impressive on defense ranking first or second in each key defensive category. Goaltender Chris Garrity has had a strong start as well, picking up three of the four wins for the Cannons and looking even better than he did last year. Garrity has been so impressive that he won player of the week in week three. Meanwhile, this past week Ronnie Staines, a sophomore in the league who saw very limited action last year, also earned defensive player of the week honors, providing a perfect example of how the Cannons are getting production from every player who steps on the field.

     However, the Cannons have been rivaled so far by Millon's former team the Baltimore Bayhawks. Also 4-0, the Bayhawks are tops in just about every team category both offensively and defensively. With possibly an even stronger attack than Boston's, Baltimore seems to be the biggest threat to deny the Cannons the title again. Not to overlook their other opponents, but in July the Cannons will find out exactly how well they match up against the team who, as of now, looks like would be in the title game with the Cannons so long as both teams keep up their strong play. Taking nothing away from other teams' offenses, but Baltimore is loaded with big guns up front, and the Cannons' regular season match- ups with Baltimore should show how much the defense really has improved and if they might need to step it up more. But for now, the Cannons look even better than last year's runner- ups. And if this team still hasn't fully meshed, one can only imagine who and how anyone will stop them.

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